Biking Across Lake Champlain Vermont – Four Years in the Making

1 bike causeway 062715Biking Across Lake Champlain Vermont – Four Years in the Making

Image on left:

The Colchester Causeway, which extends from the Burlington Bike Path, and crosses Lake Champlain Vermont.


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Biking Across Lake Champlain Vermont –

Four Years in the Making


June 28, 2015

Related Categories : Fitness – Vermont

Note: Click images to enlarge

1 bike causeway 062715

The trail across the open water offers clear views

2 county line

First marker telling me I was really crossing the lake.


Four Years? Really?

Well, sorta, mostly 🙂

Back in 2011, Sheila and I moved to Vermont for a year and a half to spend some time with her family. I chronicled much of our anticipation and move in a series of posts.

Besides a few short trips to NYC, a weekend in Chicago, and some week-long vacations to Vermont to see my wife’s parents, I had several never-spent-much- time north of Dallas expectations.

I wanted to ride a sleigh pulled by horses in the snow. I wanted to see tons of fall foliage. I wanted to see unending snow on the ground. I wanted to breathe less than 75 dew point air. I wanted to be able to walk out into the sun again in summer (vs 105 in Texas). And I wanted to ride a bicycle across Lake Champlain on the bike path.

Most of those things I got to do, even if in a reduced way. Our winter in Vermont was its second warmest on record, and there wasn’t enough snow on the ground to do a sleigh ride. 🙂

And I did get to see more fall foliage than my whole life previous combined.

I saw my first continuous snow fall since 1971 or ’73 in Houston.

Even posted a video of the Vermont snow fall.

And unexpectedly, attended and participated in the city’s largest art show, Art Hop.

But – no bicycle ride across the lake. Hurricane Irene followed us from Texas and blew out large chunks of the causeway. It wouldn’t get repaired til our return last year, and I wasn’t prepared or determined enough to make it happen that year. ( alternate url : )

This year, I did 🙂

3 bike ferry dock

Island Line Bike Ferry

Making it to the bike ferry, about 3 or 4/5 of the way across, was a major milestone 🙂

Starting out from Leddy Park, vs near Battery Park last year, was a big help. As was a bicycle birthday gift from my son this past October. I was a bit more exercised and fit bike-wise. Sheila and I had even taken a near 9 mile senior group ride around Austin’s Lady Bird Lake on its famed Hike and Bike Trail.

And..I was very determined!

Suggestion: expand the map link above to Leddy Park. Battery Park is to the south, and the bike causeway is to the north.

4 loading the bike ferry

Loading Bicycles onto the Bike Ferry

Within minutes a large group seemed appear and we began loading our bikes for the short five-minute trip across the gap. There were folks from Canada, California, New York, and of course, counting me, Texas 🙂

5 works the bike ferry each summer

Herded the bikes with ease.

This young man (vs me 🙂 ) is from California and says he’s worked the bike ferry for many years. The ease of which he handled us all convinced me. Plus he took a picture of me with my phone so I could prove I was there 🙂

6 me, happy to have reached the bike ferry

Adan, happy to be on the bike ferry 🙂

The ride from one side of the 200 foot gap in the bike causeway to the other is pleasant and scenic.

A nice view of the length of the ride over the water shows up as we pull away.

7 view of bike causeway from inside bike ferry

View from the Bike Ferry

As we approached the dock on the north side of the trail, we saw several boats meander, or speed 🙂 , through the gap in the trail.

8 boat cutting through gap in the bike causeway

Zipping the gap in a speed boat

Reminder: Click images to enlarge

Once I was back on the trail, it was a relatively quick ride to island of South Hero.

I peddled back to the ferry, and was soon on the start of my way home.

The mileage sign was both comforting and challenging. 🙂

9 road miles to points ahead

Mileage marker to locations south.

As the shore to Colchester and the mainland get closer, the vegetation increases, and more fishermen began to appear.

10 getting close back to land

By this time I was quickly rediscovering some yoga poses I could partially use to help me sit straighter and ease my back and hands and neck. 🙂

My next post will go into a few of these with some links on more info.

Nearing Home

It was a beautiful day and a gorgeous ride across the water.

Peddling closer to our apartment on the Burlington Bike Path, I crossed the mouth of the Winooski River via the giant bike and pedestrian bridge.

The lone jogger ahead was the first of many more folk beginning to enjoy the day on the bike path. Soon after swarms of teens and younger would be jockeying for space to pass and rush by in giggles and shrieks of glee. Moms, dads, many pushing heavy carriages, would appear in clusters. Pets on long leashes would yank their owners arms trying to leap out and join the parade of people.


bike bridge over winooski river

But of course, by that time, reaching my turn-off street to go home, I was far more interested in the lunch Sheila said she almost had ready.

Seventeen and a half miles after I’d left the house three hours earlier, Sheila opened the door with a smile and I was back.


Special Thanks –

to Local Motion.

Local Motion is self-described as, “Local Motion is a member-supported non-profit organization promoting people-powered transportation and recreation for healthy and sustainable Vermont communities.”

They provided the online information I needed to make this ride happen. And actually, the rebuilding of the causeway itself after Hurricane Irene. And the operating of the bike ferry itself.

namaste´- con dios – god be with you



Related Articles

My Blogging Priorities : Fitness, Family, and Fun

Photo-Memoir of Fun Senior Bike Ride on Austin’s Hike & Bike Trail

The Fitness Bank – Please Deposit Ten Minutes of Yoga – a Tidbit Post, # 7


More Information & Links

Island Line Rail Trail

Google Search : vermont island causeway damage


crop of bike path pic


On the Island Line Trail (Burlington Bike Path Causeway) June 22, 2015, my first attempt – I got about 1/5 across, and hadn’t prepared to go to the island of South Hero, and so wasn’t prepared and (wisely) decided to head back and do a full effort again soon.



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